This is a very unique time, to say the least. With the cloud of a pandemic lifting and a beautiful-if-not blazing hot Iowa summer in full swing, there's one thing that's very different about this summer than, say, the summer of 2019. There are "Help Wanted" signs EVERYWHERE. More and more area restaurants and bars are closing down on Mondays and even Tuesdays because they simply do not have to work staff to support the demand. That's why now more than ever it's important to tip... generously.

The worker shortage remains a huge issue

Recently, Governor Kim Reynolds ended a policy allowing unemployed Iowans to get an extra $300 per week. Despite this, restaurants and other businesses haven't exactly been flooded with applicants. KCRG even chatted with a restaurant owner who called this the worst shortage they'd seen in 20 years.

I was at an area restaurant last night, bellied up to the bar (pretty standard for radio folk after hours). I got to talking to the bartender who told me it was his first day as a non-trainee, meaning he didn't have anyone right next to him to assist. I ordered a cocktail I routinely order, and he nervously told me he'd never made it before. Turns out, he made it just fine (I ordered a second, PS).

We got to chatting a bit and talking about him, and how he wasn't sure if he was going to keep this job because the money was just "okay". Like many others in the same position, he was unemployed a good deal of 2020, and he told me candidly he's a bit behind on student loans.

Good tips = Iowa Nice

My bartender story from yesterday is unquestionably echoed throughout the state of Iowa, and likely the United States. As a patron enjoying a summer day out in an almost post-COVID world, the least we can do to support the employees, and the restaurants and bars themselves is tip generously. The more happy employees, the easier it is to recruit, and the more likely our favorite eateries are to keep doors open 7-days a week. A good tip is certainly an easy way to help this and is an example of Iowa Nice.

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